Lavender

This is my lavender plant. I am thrilled with its size and beauty. The bees must be also because they won’t leave it alone. I saw a moth flying nearby also. I’m not sure what variety my lavender is since I planted it last summer and must have discarded the tag. It may be either Munstead or Hidcote. It stayed fairly small and did not bloom last year probably because I planted it later in the summer. It overwintered well and really took off growing this year, perhaps because we had such good spring rains.

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Lavender is such a wonderful, low maintenance perennial when planted in a sunny location with well-drained soil. I have mine in a small bed next to the mailbox and it is thriving. Neighbors are probably enjoying its beauty and fragrance as they walk by it. In addition to being a beautiful, fragrant garden plant that attracts bees and butterflies, it has other uses. Just before the flowers open fully is the best time to harvest the blooms. You can cut the stems and hang them upside down in a cool place until dried. Bundle them for beautiful gifts or for use as a dried floral arrangement. Leaves and blooms can be used for potpourri or for making sachets. Placing a sachet in your pillowcase may help give a good night’s sleep.

Lavender oil is used in aromatherapy and is calming and soothing. Some people experience relief from headaches when they rub a couple of drops of high quality lavender essential oil onto their temples, foreheads or back of the neck. It can be used with a carrier oil for massage and is gentle on the skin. I like to kepp a bottle of essential oil on my bedside table and rub a little on my temples to calm me down at night. I think it helps me sleep better. Lavender essential oil also helps me with minor headaches. It has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties also. I use a commercial lavender kitchen cleaner on my counters. Often I rub the essential oil on a bug bite for relief. And when I am congested I inhale it from a tissue saturated with a few drops of oil for relief. The oil is one perfume that helps my allergies rather than giving me an allergic reaction.

There are many culinary uses of lavender also. I have had lavender cookies, lavender lemonade (which I loved) and just last week tried lavender ice cream in a restaurant.

The versatility of lavender seems almost endless. Perhaps you will take a few minutes to share some of your lavender knowledge, experiences, favorites, ideas, tips or recipes . I’d love to hear about them.

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About Debi

I live in Leesburg, Virginia where I teach high school students in the Agriculture Department. Additionaly, I am self-employed as a horticultural consultant and landscape designer. "Beefriend the Bees!" and "Neither Here Nor There" are children's books I wrote and illustrated available from Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=Deborah Chaves&x=12&y=25. Other interests include singing and playing my guitar (also have a CD for sale on Amazon called "Gardening Therapy"); walking my American Bulldog, Cloud and Olde English Bulldogge, Sky; staying active in my local church, and blogging on the www.thedailylily.com.

8 thoughts on “Lavender

  1. This sounds like a plant I would love to have in my yard. Does it grow from a seed or a bulb? Can you take it from a section in someone’s yard and transplant to someone elses yard as long as it is a sunny place that drains well? Do they multiple with years of growth.

  2. I tried “Lavendar” ice cream @Hidden Horse Tavern, Middleburg, Va. with zesty lemon pound cake and it was very refreshing. I love the beauty and health of this plant as well. My very favorite is taking small jars that I have used for pancake syrups, olive oil, etc. and cutting sprigs from my yard and adorning my home with the natural outdoorsy look while giving a medicinal yet pleasant aroma to my home.

  3. Debi,
    I think I received a lavender candle at one of the retreats we had. I believe someone told me that lavender helps to calm you down. After reading here, I see that indeed it does, along with other benefits. Thanks for sharing this information and the picture of your beautiful lavender plant. (I LOVE THE COLOR PURPLE/LAVENDER!)

  4. Thanks for sharing all….so interesting.
    Rena, to try to answer your questions: you can grow lavender from seed in late summer or autumn though it may take some time for them to sprout; take 4-8″ stem cuttings from an existing plant in autumn or spring and root in pots of lightweight soil (you are welcome to try and take some cuttings from my plant); divide a ‘parent’ plant in someone’s yard and take a section of it w/ roots and replant in sunny, well-drained spot; or buy an already started potted plant like I did to transplant. They don’t multiply from their root systems like daylilies but they may drop seed and spring up from them.

    I love Sara’s idea of placing it in small jars…that is so eco-friendly. How long do the sprigs last? Do you let them just dry out and stay in the jars?

    Needles, what a great way to get the aroma of lavender and the beauty and functionality of candlelight togther. Lavender’s the plant for you if you love purple because it comes in so many shades. Have you ever drank lavender tea? It’s supposed to calm nerves also. And since you are a nurse you may be interested to know that the oil has been used as an antiseptic, mild sedative and painkiller.

  5. Your lavender plant is beautiful, Debi. Your horticultural green thumb grows lovely things and makes gorgeous arrangements with God’s luscious blooms. God made man, originally , to work in the garden and you have carried on that tradition from Genesis into these, the last days.

  6. No, Debi, I don’t believe I have ever had any lavender tea. It sounds like it would be good…….I LOVE iced tea!
    Wow, I didn’t know that the oil of lavender has been used as an antiseptic, mild sedative and painkiller, interesting. Thanks for the info.

  7. I understand that lavender is of the mint family. Now what do you think these scriptures (below) are saying to us?

    Matthew 23:23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.”

    Luke 11:42 “But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass by justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.”

    My footnotes: mint, dill, and cumin… Small plants grown in gardens and used for spices. Only very religious people would be careful enough to give a tenth of these plants.

  8. It made me think that ‘doing’ things, even good things, to fulfill a religious obligation isn’t an indicator of good character (displaying the fruit of the spirit). Justice, mercy and faith are matters of the heart and are character indicators. If our treasure is doing things so others will think we are good that’s where our hearts will be (Matt 6:21)…focused on us looking look…self. But Justice, mercy and faith have thier focus on others…serving as serving the Lord.
    When I read on in Matt 23 it said these same Pharisees were hypocrites who cleansed the outside (to make it look good) but hadn’t dealt with the unclean inside of themselves and were full of ‘extortion and self-indulgence.’

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